365,000 point bonanza with 2 new cards and a checking account

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My 23 year old son recently applied for two business credit cards and a business checking account.  In all three cases, he was instantly approved.  Even better, by the time he is done meeting the spend requirements for the credit cards and balance and transaction requirements for the checking account, I expect that he will be at least 365,000 transferable points richer!

Update 12/13/22: This post has been updated below to confirm that making 10 deposits totaling $5,000 does count for the 10 transaction requirement.

Overview

My son has a side-business as a filmmaker, but revenues are just hopeful projections at this point.  Still, regardless of whether a business is profitable, it’s possible to sign up for business credit cards.  Actually, even if you don’t think you have a business at all, you probably do.  If you’re an aspiring author or influencer, or if you occasionally sell things on eBay or at yard sales, then you have a business.  To keep things simple when applying for new accounts, use your real name as your business name and apply with “sole proprietor” as the type of business you own.

Several years ago, my son signed up for his first personal credit card as a university freshman (see: My teen’s first credit card, and his next steps towards rewards) and his first business cards as a sophomore (see: Chase Business Ink as a student starter card).  Now that he is a college graduate, he can keep going with more and more applications, but he’s not really into the points & miles game so I manage his applications and cards.

Caution!  There’s a reason that credit card companies are willing to give away points & miles. They make a lot of money from interest and fees. Interest and fee payments can quickly wipe out the benefits gained from signup bonuses. The only way to come out ahead is to pay your credit card bills in full, every month. If you can’t do that, then I highly recommend against signing up for new credit cards. Further, every year when annual fees come due you should evaluate whether the card is worth the fee. If not, cancel it or call to downgrade it to a fee free card. To avoid losing points, see our checklist for cancelling credit cards.

Last week, I realized that two opportunities were just too good to pass up: the Chase Ink Cash 90K offer, and the 230K Amex Business Platinum + Business Checking bundle offer.  My son applied for each of these and was (amazingly) instantly approved for all.  Now I expect that after meeting the bonus requirements for these offers he will be at least 365,000 points richer.  And these are not just any points, but super-valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points and Amex Membership Rewards points.  Sweet!

Chase 120K Ultimate Rewards points with 1 card

Ink Business Cash

At the time that my son applied, the welcome bonus for the Chase Ink Business Cash card was 90,000 points after $6K spend.  In the past I’ve found that Chase rarely instantly approved Ink card applications and so I nearly fell off my chair when my son’s application was instantly approved!

Since offers change regularly, this display will show the current offer for the Chase Ink Cash card:

Card Offer and Details
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
90K points
Best Offer Ever - 90K after $6K spend in 3 months

No Annual Fee

See: How to sign up for Chase Ink cards

Recent better offer: None. This is the best we've seen.

FM Mini Review: This one should be in everyone's wallet. Incredible signup bonus for a no-fee card. Great card for 5X categories. Excellent companion card to Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Business Preferred.


Card Type: Visa Signature Business

Base
Dine
Gas
Phone
Office
Other

Earning rate: 5X office supplies ⚬ 5X cellular/landline/cable (on up to $25,000 in total purchases in 5x categories annually) ⚬ 2X on the first $25K in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each cardmember year ⚬ 5X Lyft through March 2025

See also: Chase Ultimate Rewards Complete Guide

The great thing about the Ink Business Cash card is that it earns 5 points per dollar at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services on up to $25K spend per cardmember year.  So, our plan is to spend all of the required $6,000 at office supply stores in order to earn a total of 30,000 points for the required $6K spend.  This is made much easier by the fact that Staples and Office Depot keep offering fee-free (or better) Visa and Mastercard deals nearly every week (for details and current deals, see: Best options for buying Visa and MasterCard gift cards).

Once my son earns the 90K welcome bonus, he should be a total of 120,000 Ultimate Rewards points richer.  He will most likely use these points by transferring them to me so that I can book Hyatt stays for him.  There are two reasons to do it this way: 1) he doesn’t currently have an Ultimate Rewards card that allows transferring points to hotel and airline programs; and 2) Since I have Hyatt Globalist status, I could book stays for him as Guest of Honor reservations.  That way he will be treated like a Globalist with free parking, room upgrades, free breakfast, free lounge access, etc.  For details about this side-door approach to elite benefits, see: Shortcuts to top tier Hyatt elite status.

If you’re interested in signing up for the Ink Cash card (or the similar Ink Business Unlimited card or Ink Business Preferred card), see: How to sign up for Chase Ink cards.

Amex 245K Membership Rewards points with 1 card and 1 checking account

My son was instantly approved for both the Business Platinum card and the Business Checking account show above.

My son keeps getting offers from Amex for 150K points after $15K spend if he signs up for another Business Platinum card for the same business.  He’s previously taken advantage of offers like that twice, and until now we’ve resisted adding more because there’s a limit to how many cards I want to deal with (I do the card juggling for him!).  The latest targeted bundle offer, though, was enough to get us over this hesitation.  Now, by accepting that 150K offer plus the amazing 60K business checking offer, Amex will give him an extra 20K points on top of all of that!  See this post for details.

Here’s how we plan to tackle the requirements of each part of the offer…

Amex Business Checking 60K

The current 60K offer for opening an Amex business checking account requires the following:

  1. Open a new American Express Business Checking account (done!)
  2. Deposit a total of at least $5,000 in the first 20 days
  3. Maintain an average account balance of $5,000 for 60 days
  4. Make 10 or more qualifying transactions within 60 days of opening your account.

For that last part, Amex states “Qualifying transactions are mobile deposits, and electronic/online transactions including ACH, Wire, and Bill Payments. Business Debit Card transactions and deposits using our Redeem for Deposits feature are not qualifying transactions.”

I believed that he could meet requirements 2 and 4 simply by making 10 separate deposits to get to the $5,000 requirement.  Then, by keeping the money there for 60 days, he should be good to go.  Luckily Amex provides a Welcome Bonus Points tracker on the checking account’s online dashboard and, sure enough, the deposits did indeed count as separate transactions:

Amex Business Platinum 165K

Often, when my son logs into his Amex account, Amex invites him to “expand his membership” by adding another business Platinum account.  In return, he is typically offered 150K points after $15K spend on the new card.  Frequently there is also an offer for additional points after adding an employee card.  This time, though, my son accepted an offer that didn’t have the employee card component.  He instead clicked through the targeted offer for the bundle of the Amex Business Platinum + Business Checking.

The part of the bundled offer that is specifically for the Business Platinum card offers 150,000 points after $15K spend.  The Business Platinum card offers 1.5 points per dollar for purchases of $5,000 or more, so from $15K spend alone, it’s possible to earn 15,000 x 1.5 = 22,500 points.  While I expect that at least some of the spend towards $15K will meet that requirement, for this post lets assume that purchases will be below $5K and will earn only 1 point per dollar.  In that case, my son will earn 15,000 points from spend plus 150,000 points from the card bonus for a total of 165,000 points.

I’m willing to bet that he’ll soon get an offer for even more points for adding an employee card.  For now, though, we’ll assume that he’ll end with “only” 165K points.

Business Platinum + Business Checking Bundle Bonus 20K

By meeting the welcome bonus requirements for both the Business Platinum card and the Business Checking account, my son will earn an extra 20,000 points!

Total: 365,000 Transferable Points

As shown in the sections above, my son expects to earn at least 365,000 transferable points:

  • Chase Ink Business Cash: 120,000 points (90K welcome bonus + 30K from spend)
  • Business Checking: 60,000 points
  • Business Platinum Card: 165,000 points (150K welcome bonus + 15K from spend)
  • Business Platinum + Checking bundle offer: 20,000 points
  • Total: 365,000 points

For ideas about how these points can be used, see:

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Kelly

So I cannot believe your son is a college graduate! Seems like just yesterday you published the article as soon as he turned 18. At the time it seemed very far away for me but now I myself have a 17.5 year old – any thoughts on updating the first credit cards strategy post or would you say the original is still what you’d advocate even today? Thanks!

Roberta

Greg, if you dont mind me asking. How did you do the 10 deposits?

Transfer from external account; mobile deposits; ACH?

Stevenson

i just received a NLL mailer for another biz plat and was super excited about the timing as this means i could triple dip on the dell/airline credits before the years up.

however i just realized that my last biz plat’s account opening date was only 20 days ago. do i actually have to wait 90 days from that date before applying using the mailer or is 30 day spread sufficient?

Last edited 1 month ago by Stevenson
Mojo

Should I be worried!? Approved for business checking, started with 6 $500 ACH pulls from my bank. Received call from AMEX to give the a call. On the call, reps couldn’t say exactly reason for the call. Told them my account showed “restricted”. Agent said AMEX is doing a “review” and wait to see what happens in 5 business days?? So now, I’m in the dark as to what’s going on, the clock still counting? for $5K deposits in 20 days (today is day 7, but i’m going to lose 5 more days with this “review”) I haven’t done anything wrong, anybody else been in this boat? Any advice greatly appreciated.

Mojo

Ok, thanx.

Raghu N

What happened with the review

mojo

After a determined set date (5 business days), I called in to check status and whatever the issue was (they never said) “cleared”. Strange, but glad I was able to resume ACH /$5K within the 20 day window.

Raghu N

Thanks , I followed Greg’s advise, did 5K deposit on the 4th aCH transfer. Now will start withdrawals for 6 transactions

Nick

Are you at all worried that average daily balance is well under $5k and won’t meet the threshold at day 60, or do you think they’ll start counting 60 days from when you achieve $5k in deposits? I’ve been going slowly with a transfer or two in per day so as not to set off alarm bells with my home bank, but seeing that calculation on your screenshot has me spooked.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nick
Nick

Thanks for responding! I’ll keep an eye on that, but sounds like it should work out just like yours after all the deposits clear.

Arthur Leyenberger

Will applying for the Amex biz checking result in a credit pull and count against chase 5/24?

Ryan

That’s awesome! What’s your plan on how to use all of the gift cards you get from Staples? Is there a good way to do that? I’m scared I will be thousands of dollars of gift cards and struggle applying them to things lol.

tom

If you close the account after say 6 months, do you forfeit the points? I don’t have an amex card if that matters.

loungeabused

Silly me, I applied for the personal checking account months ago, with no bonus, and now Amex blocks anyone who has or had a personal checking from the 60k business bonus.

Sil

Logged onto chase account and first time saw you are pre-approved for Chase ink card . Does it mean that I should be approved if I apply ? The offer had a fixed APR rate

Repeat Offender Captain Greg

Also works for withdrawals. I deposited $5050 and then did nine $5 withdrawals and it counted.

Roberta

Over what time period did you do the withdrawals, if you dont mind me asking?

Repeat Offender Captain Greg

I generally did 2-3 at once every few days or week. I bet you could even do 9 withdrawals at once and it would accomplish it.

Mike Kirkpatrick

Quick question received a mailer for 150k busniess platnium offer my 3rd one this year I see the checking offer isn’t like a bundle thing so they’d be separate applications would you still qualify for the 20k bonus for doing both? And what requirements are needed for busniess checking account , I’ve only been using ein for all my business credit card applications are they going to require more information? Just finishing up spark travel eliete bonus and figured why not amex loves me anyways

Mr. Seg

Hi Greg, my wife applied for the Amex Platinum personal card and got denied because of too many recent credit card accounts. She has only opened 2 cards in the last year, one in January and one in August. Then I added her recently to my Venture X in September. I called Amex for reconsideration but they told me to call Experian. Do you have any recommendation or have seen similar experiences? I really wanted her to take advantage of the Platinum benefits for an upcoming trip in December (and triple dip)

Mr. Seg

Yes she is totally new to Amex. We have used the new pre-approval tool and not the actual application. I guess we’ll try with a lower level card first, it’s just annoying as i was waiting for December to come…

ktc

wife as AU helped her tremendously, before she even had any AMEX cc

Mr. Seg

Do you mean AU on a amex card?

CJ R

We had the Ink Cash for just under 4 years and canceled it to get a new bonus. How long should we wait to re-apply?

Mantis

1 hour.

CJ R

It’s still showing in our account (been only a day) but it says “for your information”. Do we need to call and unlink the account before applying again?

Derek

Hi Greg, great article and offer. I wonder what you think are the easiest qualifying activities for the business account. Interested to know your sons strategy for ticking those off the list quickly. Thanks

Cam

15k in 3 months is a steep spend with Amex, even if you dabble in some buying groups.

whocares

i have this feeling it is super easy for Greg….

JohnT

Yah, I have a feeling this would likely be an instance of MS (or Greg just has him buy gift cards that he reimbursed him for). He specifically says he is a filmmaker but that revenue they put in are hopeful projections – this likely indicates it is a “business,” which I can’t imagine gets anywhere close to $15k in real expenses in 3 months. To each their own I guess.

Andrew

Would be more reasonable if AMEX did 6 months for MSR like on their personal card offers. The two business cards combined are $7K per month for 3 months to hit MSR. That pushes the limits of what many families could put on credit card spend organically, or burgeoning filmmaking companies 🙂

No issue with others doing MS, just not for me. Takes this from a hobby to a side hustle or side job, more time than I want to put into it.

David

Your son is lucky to have you do all this for him. lol. I hope you keep some of those UR points for yourself!

Bob

I also applied for ink Cash and was instantly approved. With decent CL too. That hasn’t happened since like 2014. Perhaps, Chase changed some approval parameters

GemGal

Thanks for the reminder! I had received an email from Amex with the 150 plat+30 checking+20 bonus offer a couple weeks ago, but using the link in your article I also qualified for the 150+60+20 offer.

It surprised me that you do apply for the Plat and the Checking separately. I am wondering how they are going to track for the extra 20k bonus but will just have to keep an eye on it posting.

With tax season coming up this is perfect timing, and of course you can triple dip the Plat credits.

Jorge

Are you going to help your child meet all those minimum spends too?

Brian

Agreed, hard enough for me to hit high minimum spend amounts with expenses for a family of four. Realistically, even buying a drawer full of Visa prepaid cards to use over time is he personally paying off the mega statements when they come in?

mbh

Yeah, just as soon as I find a way to get money orders with VGCs, I’m going to grab some of these great offers. Until then, I’m stuck with only a minimal ability to meet minimum spend requirements. Super bummer.

Rob

How are you liquidating the 200s? Organic spend, Money orders or occult means?

Elmer

For those of us who already have a Business Platinum card and keep getting targeted with an “expand your membership” offer for a second Platinum card: can I apply using the same SS# as the original (I’m a sole proprietor) or do I need to apply for the new card using a different EIN? I’m planning to apply this week and hope very much the same SS# will work. Thanks for all you do!

Josh

Yes you can use the same SS# I did it three times already.
I’m just not sure if they are shutting down people who are taking advantage of these offers like they did back in October of 2021

Lee

Elmer, the key is whether a specific offer has the lifetime limit language or not.

The lifetime limit language is: “Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card or previous versions of the (fill in the blank) Card.” It sits right at the beginning of Offer Terms.

Your targeted offer, in all likelihood, will not have this language. If this is indeed the case, commence firing, fire at will. In fact, over time, you’ll read about individuals who have three or four Business Platinum cards.

Josh

There are reports of being getting shut down even when applying for a targeted offer
So I wouldn’t “fire at will”

LarryInNYC

Where are these reports, please? I don’t have any yet, but will probably apply for my first business platinum this month.

Josh

I wouldn’t be worried about my first application at all. I got 3 bonuses for the business platinum and I’m thinking about going for a fourth I’m just a bit worried
https://milestomemories.com/another-round-of-amex-shutdowns/#

Josh

Great! So when I’m signed in to my amex account and I click on your business platinum link of 150 plus 10 for employee and it shows up that I’m eligible,as well as being eligble for the business gold 90 plus 10, I shouldn’t have any issues even if I have/had multiple in the past year or two (3 business platinum and 2 business gold)?

Mantis

I did 150k + $150 for $0. CIC 90k, Amex biz checking 60k, and Fidelity cash mgmt $150. All for very easy T&C, and no $700 AF or silly coupon book benefits to track!

Gymrat

Hello Mantis – Where did you find the 150k + $150 for $0 offer? Is it still available? Thanks.

Jake

What’s the latest updates about amex shutting down accounts when applying for NLL targeted business platinum cards?

Jake

https://milestomemories.com/another-round-of-amex-shutdowns/#
It seems like from this article that people were being shut down by signing up through Adam, as well as for mailers that were directly sent to them with their name…

Jlee

Is your son’s chase ink cash card his only chase card? I thought you cannot transfer chase points from a chase business credit card to someone else’s chase personal cc. (Asking bc I’m in that exact situation)

MalMel

For the Ink Business Cash, your plan is to spend all of the required $6,000 at office supply stores in order to earn a total of 30,000 via buying visa/Mastercard gift cards. I thought the advice has been not to buy gift cards for required spending. Or is it Amex that does not like that and may take back your points?

Weather

Chase is “okay” with this. (Amex is not.)

Spencer Pederson

Question for you. Do you know if I would be eligible for the offer if I applied for the Platinum card thru a link other than the one in the targeted offer above? It seems as though I can apply for the checking account, but I get the dreaded “this offer is no longer available” when applying for the card.

Because you need to apply for both individually, I wonder if that strategy would work. Another option is calling the amex business line to see if I could get set up that way as well. Any thoughts are helpful!

Jacinto

Thanks for the post. I wasn’t able to find a ‘Welcome Bonus Tracker’ in the dashboard through the Amex website or app. Not sure how to find it.

I deposited $5k on 9/19 and made 10 deposits on 9/30 but still haven’t received the 20,000 points.

Joe Bleaux

It should appear as a rectangle to the right of your acct balance, labeled “Welcome Bonus Points.” Click the down arrow for details about your progress toward the bonus.

Randy

Sweet point grab! I found when applying for the AMEX checking account they wanted business documents that I did not have. So I am creating a LLC to get the proof of business document required. I tried applying first as a Sole Proprietor but I did not have the document requirement. Did your son apply as an LLC business?

DMoney

As sole proprietor, upload a copy of your ID (I uploaded my foreign passport copy) and that will work. Has worked for everyone I know who has done it ( at least 10 ppl) and countless others on flyertalk. No need to create an LLC for this.

Randy

Awesome! That is great info. Thanks!

hungry_a

Hi DMoney. That’s interesting to hear. To confirm my understanding – As a foreign national, can I apply for a business card using my foreign passport?

I am on a work visa, and cannot legally start a business, so I just assumed business credit cards were off limits.

DMoney

I am not sure of the labor laws, but I am aware of several folks who are in similar situation as yours (work visa) who have applied for and have received small business credit cards. Here is my take on this situation (note that this isn’t legal advise but just my educated opinion) –

  1. As a sole proprietor, I am using my own name as company name and am claiming income that I generate by selling my used stuff on amazon, etc. I even sold my own car and included that under income. I know people on work visa who have rental properties and they include rental income in their business income. I would assume all of these are permissible for those on work visa, as long as you declare that income properly and pay due taxes
  2. The business card applications never ask for your visa status or work authorization. It only asks for SSN/ITIN/EIN information and your tax residency status. As sole proprietor, I provide SSN and that works for all banks

So, I don’t see why one on work visa should not be able to apply for business cards as sole proprietor.

Cavedweller

I don’t know what ur into But I’ll had a CPA for 40 years. My CPA is a Friend now everyone who does work with me turns into a friend.I Filed 2 months ago $750 fee CHEAP !!!
LOL

Cavedweller

I’m a SP and I wondered what ur kids were Doing .
Great !! Have Fun young man !!!

Randy

I took DMoney’s advice and applied as a sole proprietor using my passport scan for my business document and it worked 🙂

DMoney

I am glad it worked.

Randy

Really appreciate your advice. I may create an LLC in the future but it’s nice to avoid the expense and time for now. Going to get another 60k MR points from my player #2 as well 🙂 We also sold several cars this year that I did not even think of adding as business income until I saw your post. I’ll use this income for our next business checking account.

Sean

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